The concept of nature and of the natural state in Pestalozzi

José María Quintana Cabanas


In his concept of nature and of the natural state of man, Pestalozzi follows Rousseau, but there are essential differences in the way they understand these concepts. Following the Romantic tradition, Pestalozzi also sees nature as wise, purposeful and provident. He divides human nature into two distinct parts one of which is sentient and animal, the other spiritual. The spiritual part is <divine> and constitutes the true nature of humankind.

The nature ofman is good in its original state, but man loses this goodness as soon as he is born. Fromthen onmans nature is corrupted, and the aim of education is to make it possible for man, through the practise of morality, to get as close as possible to his original state of goodness, which represents an ideal for him. According to Rousseau,man is good and society is bad. For Pestalozzi, society is like man, with some good aspects and some bad aspects.


Key Words: Nature, natural state, anthropology, innocence, corruption, education

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